Government Committed to Aviation Training

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 07/07/2004 - 21:17

Employment, Training & Industrial Relations, Tom Barton

07/07/04

The Beattie Government is determined not to allow skill shortages to slow the soaring growth of Queensland's aviation industry, Minister for Employment, Training and Industrial Relations Tom Barton said in Cairns today.

This financial year the Government will allocate $4.8 million to aeroskills training, an increase of 38 per cent on last year, Mr Barton said.

He was speaking at the official opening of the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre at Cairns International Airport. Training at the centre is provided by Aviation Australia, a State Government owned company.

"Skill shortages are a problem facing the industry Australia-wide and it's gratifying that Cairns' aviation community has acted smartly to address this particular challenge," Mr Barton said.

"With 39 small-to-medium aviation enterprises operating from this airport and Australian Airlines based here, the region is a key part of the Government's strategy to establish Queensland as the aviation hub of the Asia Pacific region."

Mr Barton said the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre will play a vital role in maintaining and expanding the skills base of existing staff of these companies and training the future workforce of the local aviation industry.

"Aviation Australia offers some of the most advanced aviation and aerospace training facilities in the Asia Pacific," he said.

"After beginning operations in March this year it now has 20 students ranging in age from 17 to 37 years.

"Graduates can expect to gain employment with local airlines, aerospace and aviation companies.

"Previous students - who had their training hosted at the Tropical North TAFE and local industry facilities while the centre was being built - have already gained employment with local companies in Cairns, Mareeba and Mount Isa. Two were accepted into the Royal Australian Air Force."

The Australian National Training Authority contributed funding of $775,000 towards the skills centre, while the Cairns Aviation Industry Reference Group put more than $1 million towards equipment, training courseware and fit-out of the facility.

The Queensland Government's contribution through Aviation Australia was approximately $150,000 of direct support, plus provision of, and access to, the world-class courseware and training systems developed by Aviation Australia in Brisbane.

Media contact: Michael O'Meara on 0407 655 103

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